Copyright © Australian War Diary (World War One)
I have loved history since my childhood, possibly stimulated by my early reading of 'Biggles' books. I have not always been an historian. Years ago I was a cavalry troop commander in the Australian Army. After, I was an official historian, journalist, university lecturer and manager.
I began publishing on history while still a cadet at the Royal Military College, Duntroon where I was awarded, among other academic prizes, the C. E. W. Bean prize for history. Bean was an Australian journalist who, in 1914, was appointed official war correspondent and, later, official historian for Australia's role in World War One.
My formidable history professor at Duntroon, L. C. F. Turner, taught me a course on the origins of the First World War. He looked like what I imagined of how Bismarck looked and spoke. I was hooked.
After I left the army, I was awarded a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Sydney for my study of Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War. It was published as All the Way: Australia's Road to Vietnam. The university awarded me the Colonel George Johnston history fellowship. Later, I wrote for the official history of Australia in the Southeast Asian Conflicts. I was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at the Australian Defence Force Academy.
I have written on Australia's military history for the Australian newspaper for which I recently wrote a weekly column on historical aspects of Australia which widened my interest beyond the fields of diplomacy and war to all aspects of Australian history.
I have always held that Australian history should be seen not in isolation but as part of world history. So I have researched in the archives of over sixty countries. Recently, I researched for the Australian government the records of World War One.
While I live I learn; while I learn I live.